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Hewlett Packard Enterprise SimpliVity with Composable Fabric is a hyper-converged infrastructure platform that incorporates software-defined technologies for managing and automating the system's compute, storage and network resources. Until recently, most HCI platforms left networking out of the software-defined equation, but HPE SimpliVity hyper-converged changes that by integrating HPE's Composable Fabric offering.
Composable Fabric is a software-defined networking product that uses rack connectivity module interconnects to implement a fully connected, composable mesh fabric. In a mesh fabric, infrastructure nodes, such as routers and switches, are all interconnected, rather than organized into hierarchical tree structures as in a traditional network. At the same time, Composable Fabric collapses connectivity and routing into a single building block, eliminating the need for the dedicated spine switches found in leaf-spine network topologies.
Composable Fabric can help improve performance and simplify network management. It dynamically allocates bandwidth based on application awareness, adjusting in real time to traffic and data fluctuations and requirements. In addition, Composable Fabric automatically manages the network resources needed to support compute and storage events, as well as accommodate HPE SimpliVity hyper-converged storage and federation infrastructure.
How network services work
To deliver network services, Composable Fabric works across three networking planes: data, control and integration. The data plane provides topology, physical connectivity and data packet forwarding. It serves as a high-density fabric that offers multiple ways for workloads to interconnect. In this way, the network can better accommodate intelligent software algorithms that selectively place workload traffic on corresponding fabric paths, helping to meet workload-specific security requirements and service-level agreements.
The control plane is incorporated into Composable Fabric Manager and is responsible for network management and automation, providing a single point of administration for the network. It supplements the data plane's embedded protocols and provides APIs that external systems can use to control network state and objects. The control plane also uses Composable Fabric algorithms to determine how and what type of connectivity the workloads receive from the data plane.
The integration plane provides an event-based automation platform for defining conditions that trigger specific actions, making it possible to create a fully dynamic network that can handle intensive events, such as data ingestion or movement. In addition, the plane integrates with third-party cloud orchestration tools and software-defined storage systems, as well as DevOps and ChatOps automation tools.
VMware vSphere integration
Composable Fabric is also fully integrated with VMware's vSphere. This integration enables Composable Fabric to automatically discover managed components, such as physical nodes, virtual machines (VMs) and virtual LANs. In addition, Composable Fabric can automate numerous management operations, such as dynamically provisioning network resources for VM lifecycle events.
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